The three-day Lebanese Food Festival kicks off Friday in Glen Allen! It's a Virginia tradition that is now 30 years strong. If you plan to head to the festival to "get your eat on", here are a few things you need to know - in alphabetical order.
A is for ATM: Yes, there is one on site. So, you'll be able to withdraw as much "paper" as you need to PIG OUT!
B is for bulk: Buy food in bulk to share with family and friends, but place your orders ASAP because once the food is gone, that's it!
C is for coffee: All dinners are served with coffee, tea, and dessert. Sweet!
D is for dancing: Expect to shake your "groove thang" with traditional Lebanese dancers! They will have several performances each day throughout the festival.
E is for everyone: Everyone is invited, so bring yourself and a few friends. Also, don't forget your appetite.
F is for February: Members of St. Anthony's Maronite Catholic Church begin planning the festival's activities and menus in February.
G is for grape leaves: I could eat an entire tree of stuffed grape leaves! I seriously can't get enough of these things! Fortunately, they are on the menu.
H is for hot: OK, with temperatures in the 70s, it may not be "sweatin' buckets" hot. However, it will certainly be warm. Dress accordingly.
I is for information: If you'd like more information about the menu, festival, or performers, click here.
J is for just in case: Just in case you were wondering, beef, lamb, shrimp, and chicken dishes are on the menu. You're welcome.
K is for kibbi: Baked kibbi is a layer of diced beef and cooked onion between two layers of kibbi. I tried this dish at last year's festival. Two thumbs up!
L is for lots of people: Thousands of people pack the three-day festival each year. Expect quite a bit of vehicle and foot traffic.
M is for miles: Did you know that it is about 5900 miles between Richmond, Virginia, and Lebanon's capital city, Beirut? Now you know.
N is for no email orders: You can order food in advance by faxing this form to 804-273-9914. Email orders will not be accepted. You have been warned.
O is for old: According to St. Anthony's website, the Maronite Church is one of the oldest churches of Catholicism. It was led by Saint Maron, a priest who devotedly taught the Catholic faith, and ministered to many people with his gifts of healing and counsel. The followers of Maron emigrated from Syria to Lebanon, where the Maronite Church flourishes today. Here in the U.S., there are two eparchies made up of 85 parishes and institutions.
P is for parking: As always, you are welcome to park in neighborhoods surrounding the church, but PLEASE obey parking laws (Do not block driveways or fire hydrants.)
Q is for questions: If you want to know more about a particular dish or Lebanese tradition, ask! The festival volunteers are happy to answer all of your queries. That's why they're there!
R is for reminisce: Want to do a little light reading? Check out my blog post on last year's Lebanese Food Festival!
S is for sit down dinners: There are plenty of tables and chairs available for you to sit down and enjoy your meal while watching the amazing entertainment.
T is for take out: If you don't want to sit down to eat, you can always take your vittles with you.
U is for umbrella: Although the forecast shows lots of sunshine, be prepared for a few scattered showers throughout the weekend. The festival will go on rain or shine!
V is for vegetarian: Don't eat meat? No problem! You have quite a few options. I highly recommend the spinach pie and the tabouli!
W is for water (or wine): Whatever type of "hydration" you prefer, several options will be available.
X is for "xtra" delicious new items on the menu: There are two new items on the menu this year - laham bi ajeen and zaatar bread. Word on the street is that both of these are scrumptious!
Y is for yogurt: Did Lebanese yogurt come before Greek yogurt? Depends on who you ask. Here's what I know for sure - Lebanese yogurt is on the festival menu.
Z is for zalabia: If you haven't tried this fried, golden brown manna from heaven, do yourself a favor and try it.
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